By Rick Reeno
Sampson Lewkowicz, the American agent for lightweights Michael Katsidis and Jorge Barrios, has confirmed the involvement of his fighters in the upcoming lightweight tournament pay-per-view that Golden Boy Promotions is planning to stage on April 4 in Texas. According to several sources close to the situation, HBO will distribute the pay-per-view.
Katsidis will go up against former champion Jesus Chavez, while Barrios will meet Carlos Hernandez. Terms have been reached for Katsidis-Chavez, and Barrios-Hernandez is close. Katsidis had a verbal deal to fight Julio Diaz on April 10 at Morongo in California [with ESPN televising], but Golden Boy came with a better deal.
"We were talking with Sycuan [Diaz's promoter] for Katsidis to fight Diaz on ESPN, but then we received a better offer from Golden Boy for Katsidis to fight Chavez on HBO [pay-per-view]," Lewkowicz said to BoxingScene.com.
Golden Boy wants Edwin Valero vs. Antonio Pitalua as the headliner. Valero and Pitalua square off for the interim-WBC lightweight title. Texas is the only state where Valero is licensed to fight in the United States. Golden Boy is making plans for a fourth fight on the card, with Joel Casamayor possibly being involved.
The idea behind the Golden Boy tournament is to pit the overall winner, at some point, against the victor of Juan Manuel Marquez-Juan Diaz on February 28 or Nate Campbell-Ali Funeka on February 14. If Valero wins his fight, he will not be involved in the above mentioned plans. Valero was recently signed by Top Rank, and Bob Arum [Top Rank head] wants to build him as a future opponent for Manny Pacquiao.